Today’s Top Story
Study: Growth hormone treatment may improve BMD for postmenopausal women.
Data from a study conducted in Sweden and published online in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism suggest that treatment with growth hormone (GH) may increase bone mineral density (BMD) among women with postmenopausal osteoporosis. The authors conducted a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 80 women aged 50 to 70 years with osteoporosis and undergoing estrogen hormone replacement therapy, and 120 age-matched women from a random population sample. All patients received calcium 750 mg and vitamin D 400 IU, and were randomized to receive either recombinant human GH 1.0 IU, recombinant human GH 2.5 IU, or placebo for 3 years. At 10-year follow-up, they found that treatment with GH was associated with increased BMD and bone mineral content, and a reduction in the likelihood of fracture. The authors note that overall quality of life did not change during the follow-up period and did not significantly differ between treatment and control cohorts. Read more…
Read the abstract…

Other News

Study: Late-night medical care performed by surgeon may not increase patient risk the next day.
According to a study conducted in Canada and published in the Aug. 27 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, a surgeon’s provision of medical services the previous night may not significantly alter the risk of adverse outcome for patients who undergo elective surgery the next day. The researchers conducted a population-based, retrospective, matched-cohort study of 38,978 patients undergoing elective procedures and found no significant difference in primary outcome (death, readmission, or complication) between patients who underwent a daytime procedure performed by a physician who had provided patient care after midnight and those who underwent a procedure performed by a physician who had not treated patients after midnight. Read more…
Read the abstract…

CMS defines “valid code” for purposes of ICD-10 grace period.
The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently issued a clarification regarding its “grace period” during the transition to ICD-10. The agency has stated that during the 12 months following the Oct. 1, 2015 implementation of ICD-10, contractors would not deny claims based solely on the specificity of the ICD-10 diagnosis code. However, the California Medical Association reports that according to information posted by CMS, claims will be rejected if they do not contain a valid ICD-10 code, with “valid code” defined as one that is coded to the maximum level of specificity. Claims will not be rejected or audited simply because they contain the wrong code—as long as it is a valid code from the right family. Read more…
Read the CMS ICD-10 guidance document (PDF)…

CMS reports 87 percent acceptance rate during final ICD-10 testing.
CMS reports an 87 percent acceptance rate based on 29,286 claims received during the final round of end-to-end testing for ICD-10. Overall, the agency states that 2.6 percent of claims were rejected due to invalid submission of ICD-9 codes, with another 1.8 percent rejected due to invalid submission of ICD-10 diagnosis or procedural codes. Additional errors included incorrect national provider identifiers, health insurance claim numbers, dates of service outside the range valid for testing, etc. Read more…(registration may be required)
Read the report (PDF)…

Is “observation” the new “readmission?”
An article published on the blog of the journal Health Affairs questions whether a recent drop in hospital readmissions among Medicare patients corresponds to an increase in patient safety. The writers note that hospitals have seen an increase in the number of patients designated for “observation,” which they argue simply relabels readmissions while harming patients financially. “Between 2006 and 2013,” they write, “observation stays increased by 96 percent, accounting for more than half of the apparent decline in total Medicare admissions during that seven-year period.” They note that observation patients often receive care in a regular inpatient unit, but from the point of view of Medicare, observation is considered outpatient care, leaving patients responsible for a greater share of costs, yet ineligible for Medicare-paid rehabilitation or skilled nursing care. Read more…

The Washington Post reports that a bill under consideration in the Wisconsin State Legislature would, if enacted, require cameras in every operating room in the state. Supporters of the proposal say that documenting procedures may improve patient safety by allowing healthcare providers to analyze their own actions. Critics note that requiring cameras in operating rooms raises privacy issues for healthcare providers as well as patients. Read more…

Submit your entries now! MORE Awards honor excellence in orthopaedic journalism.
The Media Orthopaedic Reporting Excellence (MORE) Awards recognizes and honors journalistic efforts that further the public’s understanding of musculoskeletal health issues and encourage healthy behaviors in the care of bones and joints. AAOS is asking members to submit stories from broadcast, radio, print, or website that accurately and compassionately highlight orthopaedic procedures, treatments, and preventative care and practices. Stories must have been published or broadcast between Oct. 1, 2014 and Oct. 1, 2015. Winners will be recognized at the 2016 MORE Awards ceremony and dinner at the National Orthopaedic Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C., on May 5, 2016. For more information, please contact Kelly King Johnson at 847-384-4033. Learn more…
Submit a story via email, at:

Last call: Committee positions closing soon!
A number of openings on the AAOS Committee Appointment Program website are closing this week. Act now to apply for the following positions:

  • Adult Reconstruction Hip Program Committee (14 member openings; closes Sept. 1)
  • Adult Reconstruction Knee Program Committee (eight members; Sept. 1)
  • Adult Spine Evaluation Committee (chair; Sept. 3)
  • Advocacy Resource Committee (three members; Aug. 31)
  • AMA House of Delegates (one liaison; Aug. 31)
  • Annual Meeting Committee (one allied health representative, one member-at-large; Sept. 3)
  • Biological Implants Committee (chair, three members; Sept. 4)
  • Biomedical Engineering Committee (chair, three members; Sept. 4)
  • Bylaws Committee (one member; Sept. 3)
  • Candidate, Resident, and Fellow Committee (one member, one resident member; Sept. 4)
  • Central Evaluation Committee (one member each; Sept. 3)
    • Adult Reconstruction Hip and Knee
    • Basic Science
    • Trauma
  • Coding, Coverage and Reimbursement Committee (chair; Aug. 31)
  • Committee on Evidence-Based Quality and Value (chair, three members; Sept. 1)
  • Council on Education (one member-at-large; Sept. 1)
  • Council On Research and Quality (one member-at-large; Sept. 3)
  • Foot & Ankle Evaluation Committee (seven members; Sept 3)
  • Foot & Ankle Program Committee (five members; Sept. 1)
  • Foot and Ankle Instructional Course Committee (chair; Sept. 1)
  • Hand & Wrist Program Committee (one member; Sept. 1)
  • Hand and Wrist Instructional Course Committee (one member; Sept. 1)
  • Health Care Systems Committee (two members-at-large; Aug. 31)
  • Leadership Development Committee (three members; Sept. 3)
  • Medical Liability Committee (chair; Aug. 31)
  • Musculoskeletal Tumor & Metabolic Disease Program Committee (one member; Sept. 1)
  • Orthopaedic Basic Science Evaluation Committee (11 members; Sept. 3)


  • Orthopaedic Video Theater Committee (one member each; Sept 2)
    • Shoulder and Elbow
    • Spine
  • Pediatrics Instructional Course Committee (one member; Sept. 1)
  • Political Action Committee of the AAOS (treasurer; Aug. 31)
  • Practice Management/Rehabilitation Program Committee (chair, six members; Sept. 1)
  • Resolutions Committee (chair, two members; Sept. 3)
  • Shoulder & Elbow Program Committee (10 members; Sept. 1)
  • Shoulder and Elbow Instructional Course Committee (one member; Sept. 1)
  • Spine Program Committee (three members; Sept. 1)
  • Sports Medicine/Arthroscopy Program Committee (12 members; Sept. 1)
  • Trauma Evaluation Committee (seven members; Sept. 3)
  • Trauma Instructional Course Committee (chair, one member; Sept. 1)
  • Trauma Program Committee (13 members; Sept. 1)
  • Tumor Instructional Course Committee (chair; Sept. 1)

Learn more and submit your application…(member login required)